Friday, October 30, 2009

Our Man in Havana

Last night I finally got a chance to see Our Man in Havana. I've never seen the whole thing, only clips (mostly of Noel Coward). It was great. Carol Reed produced and directed, and Graham Greene wrote the screenplay. The cast includes Alec Guinness (I have never sen him be bad- though his Fagin is dicey, albeit plenty scary), Burl Ives as a German expatriate doctor, Ralph Richardson, Noel Coward, Maureen O'Hara and Ernie Kovacs, as a scary police official. It's a funny (I never think of Graham Greene as funny), creepy Cold War spy story. Really wonderful.
So I started checking out about the movie and Carol Reed (I've seen The Third Man so many times I think I know every word). It seems that Carol Reed was one of six (!) illegitimate children sired by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree (thought to be the best actor-manager of his day) with Beatrice Mae Pinney. Beerbohm Tree had two families, and moved back and forth between them. Those wacky Edwardians- who knew?

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